LVMH reports 53 percent profit jump

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French luxury goods giant LVMH on Tuesday reported a 53 percent jump in first half net profit on the back of better-than-expected sales and predicted a sound showing in the second half.

Net earnings in the January-June period came to 1.1 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars). Sales in first half shot up 16 percent to 9.1 billion euros.

At the operating level, earnings rose 33 percent to 1.82 billion euros.

The results easily surpassed forecasts from analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had foreseen sales of 8.85 billion euros, a 13 percent gain, and operating earnings at 1.68 billion euros, a rise of 24 percent.

The company, which markets high-end spirits such as Dom Perignon champagne and Hennessy cognac, along with leather goods, perfume and cosmetics, said all sectors reported double-digit sales increases.

While the world's leading luxury goods group issued no forecast for the rest of the year, chief executive Bernard Arnault said the company was beginning the second half "with confidence."

He said LVMH wanted to "continuing growing its market share in its historic areas as well as in emerging markets with solid potential."

In the first half, all regions -- apart from Japan -- showed growth.

LVMH suffered a 23 percent fall in net earnings in the first half of 2009 when much of the world was gripped by the global financial crisis.

© 2010 AFP

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